Tea Party Debate: Garbage in, garbage out

Let’s not spend all day on this. Ron Paul got the Tea Party base all whipped into a frenzy by speaking something out loud that most of us would never repeat. In an atmosphere of uncritical thinking (and the far right is pretty darned good at that!) what can anybody expect but a tumultuous outpouring of support for the harshest expression of self-reliance. It was a contrived question designed to get a dumb answer and the gleeful audience reaction was just an extra benefit.

Many people are somewhat familiar with Ayan Rand, the Russian atheist who gave voice to an extremist form of libertarianism which positively asserts that human beings have no moral duty to one another. Rand, perhaps, had too strong a reaction to Soviet state control. Who can say? This philosophy is absolutely un-Christian and contrary to scripture. Nonetheless, many supposed believers have incorporated something close to Rand’s individualism into the personal religion in which the individual is Pope (one of millions of personal Popes!)

What Congressman Paul said had a certain tone of reasonableness because we are accustomed to hearing unreasonable things. The hypothetical 30-something is not actually a very sympathetic character. A better question might have concerned a working family of modest means who have had a very sick newborn, a child that will demand a lifetime of expensive special care. Who pays for that?

Paul actually weaseled on his answer when he brought up the bit about churches. He does not want people tossed out on the street any more than people with normal beliefs. If churches are able to handle all these social problems, why aren’t they doing it? Perhaps it would get in the way of the cozy country club atmosphere or it might be just too darned expensive. And, yes, government may be part of the reason health care costs are sky high. The fact that we expect every kind of treatment and drug for every condition also plays a role. Also,, I have a general sense that we are becoming less healthy because of stress and diet, the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We spend a load of money on the sickest elderly people in life’s last six months.

America needs a single payer plan similar to Canada. Ron Paul might feel a bit differently about obligations to the less fortunate if he were not so tremendously blessed by being both a physician and a member of Congress. The Tea Party might have more sensible opinions if any diversity of opinion were allowed.

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About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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